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10 Characteristics of an Effective Manager

Are you a manager looking to make a difference in your workplace? Do you want to be a leader that will positively influence your team? Whether you manage five or fifty employees, being a great manager comes with a lot of responsibility.

Colorado Christian University offers over 100 degree program options in a variety of different fields, and, in them, you will be taught the keys to effective leadership regardless of your chosen field.

Here are some of the top skills and characteristics of successful managers work on in their careers:

  • Leadership Skills
  • Professional Experience
  • Good Communication
  • Broad Knowledge Base
  • Well Organized
  • Time management
  • Art of Delegation
  • Confidence In Self
  • Respect for Other
  • Company Culture

Top 10 Qualities of a Good Manager

1. Leadership Skills

In order to be an effective manager, you need to be able to efficiently lead your employees. Visualizing how you would want your leadership to look is an effective way to achieve good management. Strategic thinkers can see the big picture and minor details that others may not see.

“How do you think about leadership when you’re inside of an organization, a team, or a company?” said Dr. Rick Hall, Director of Leadership and Management Programs at CCU. “What’s your starting point? What’s your North Star?”

Leading involves more than just giving orders; it encompasses inspiring and motivating your team toward achieving common goals. A good manager empowers and motivates employees themselves, offering guidance and support while fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility. This approach not only boosts morale but also encourages innovation and creativity within the team.

2. Professional Experience

If you don’t have experience working in a professional environment and leading a team, stepping up as a manager will be hard. A great way to gain experience in a management role is to communicate your goals with your current job.

In some instances, when management knows you are looking to step up as a leader, they'll inherently train you through various scenarios that could help develop you for an upcoming promotion or position that may become available.

3. Good Communication

Effective communication is a staple that all the best managers have. This is not only listening skills but also communicating job responsibilities and expectations. It means listening to your team and working with them to produce the best results within their position.

Making sure to take time and have weekly meetings with your employees will help you as a leader understand where everyone is at in their projects. This will also build trust with your employees and empower them to boost productivity in their workflow, knowing they have someone to help them if needed.

Beyond verbal and written communication skills, effective managers also excel in non-verbal communication, understanding that body language, tone of voice, and even silence can convey powerful messages. Being able to read the room, interpret subtle cues, and adjust your communication style as per the needs and sensitivities of different team members is crucial.

4. Broad Knowledge Base

Experience as a manager is important, but so is knowledge. Going back to school is an investment that many effective leaders have seen as a benefit not only to their professional work life but to their personal lives as well.

This encompasses understanding the industry's dynamics, the company's products and services, and the various roles within the organization. Having this comprehensive knowledge enables a manager to make informed decisions, better business outcomes, bridge gaps between different departments, and facilitate a collaborative work environment.

It also positions the manager as a reliable source of information and guidance for the team, enhancing their credibility and the respect they receive from team members.

There are various degrees offered for managers, including a bachelor’s degree in Business, Human Resources Management, or Nonprofit Management. CCU also offers advanced degrees in Business Administration with seven different emphases, such as Leadership and Project Management, in addition to graduate degrees in Organizational Leadership and Public Administration.

5. Well Organized

If you aren’t organized in your position, there’s a good chance the employees you manage won’t be either. Many resources online can inspire you to get organized.

Organization extends beyond mere personal productivity; it is about creating and maintaining systems that enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire team. A well-organized manager establishes clear processes and structures to ensure that projects are completed smoothly and objectives are met.

This involves setting up robust project management systems, utilizing digital tools for task tracking, and implementing digital and physical filing systems that allow for easy access to important documents and information.

Effective organization also means prioritizing tasks based on urgency and importance, allocating resources wisely, and setting realistic timelines that consider the other team member's workload and capabilities.

By modeling organizational skills, a manager not only keeps their own responsibilities in check but also inspires their team to adopt similar habits, leading to a more productive and harmonious work environment.

6. Time Management

Another critical factor in being a successful manager is time management. If you’re late every day, your employees might think it’s acceptable to also be late.

Time management is important for prioritizing your day, making sure you have time to communicate with your employees, and accomplishing goals throughout the week.

Effective time management also significantly minimizes stress. It ensures that tasks are completed within their deadlines, leaving room for unforeseen events or challenges that may arise.

A manager proficient in time management can set a positive example, motivating their team to adopt similar practices. This approach promotes a more productive and engaged team, while leading to less employee turnover and ultimately fostering a healthier, more dynamic work environment.

7. Art of Delegation

If you don’t know how to delegate projects and tasks, your role as a manager will be a lot more complicated. Don’t be afraid to ask your employees to help complete a task. You might think it’s easier to do everything yourself, but this will add more time to your already busy schedule, and you won’t allow your employees to do what they were hired to do.

Delegation is not just about assigning tasks; it's a critical skill that empowers your employees’ development and facilitates growth both for the employees and the organization. Effective delegation involves identifying the right tasks, choosing the appropriate team members based on their skills and aspirations, and providing the team member with necessary support and resources.

It also means trusting your team to handle responsibilities while maintaining accountability. This allows managers to focus on higher-level tasks, fosters trust and confidence among team members, and aids in their professional development by allowing them to take on new challenges and responsibilities.

8. Confidence In Self

To be an effective manager, you must be confident in your abilities, experience, and decision-making skills. This doesn’t mean you have to be arrogant or feel better than your employees. You’re in a management role for a reason, and your confidence will empower your team to be the best they can be.

Self-confidence is a critical trait for a manager, acting as the foundation for building leadership skills. A confident manager inspires trust and respect in their team, showing certainty in their decisions and direction. This self-assurance should not be confused with infallibility but viewed as a willingness to take calculated risks and make decisions, even in the face of uncertainty.

“Even successful CEOs and directors are going to have to learn to be innovative and how to adjust,” Hall said. “But they also need to know what their values are. If you don’t have strong values – there are going to be mistakes – it could be potentially catastrophic personally and professionally for you as a leader.”

When a manager exudes confidence, it creates a positive work environment where employees feel secure in their roles, motivated to contribute, and more likely to rally behind their leader's vision and goals. Confidence, coupled with humility, allows good managers to acknowledge their employee's strengths and weaknesses, seek feedback, and continuously strive for improvement.

9. Respect for Others

Establishing a healthy and respectful work environment for your team is very important for a leader. If you do not show respect or appreciation for your employees, there will definitely be tension in your workplace.

Respect for others extends beyond mere tolerance; it involves valuing each team member's unique contributions, technical skills, and perspectives. This approach fosters a culture of inclusion, where every voice is heard and valued, and diversity is seen as a strength.

By demonstrating respect, a manager builds a stronger, more cohesive team and sets a standard for interpersonal interactions within the organization, encouraging empathy, understanding, and mutual support among all employees. This foundational respect is critical for overcoming challenges, driving innovation and employee success, and achieving common goals.

10. Company Culture

Company culture is the fun part of being a great leader. This is where you can boost employee engagement and show your employees how grateful you are for their hard work.

Offering fun activities throughout the week, such as a team-building outing after business hours or adding a new coffee station to the break room, is an endless way to strengthen your company culture. This will not only boost your company culture but also increase employee retention and job satisfaction, and potentially make you a high-ranking company to work for.

Pursue your Calling as a Leader

Becoming a great leader requires cultivating diverse skills and attributes, from effective time- management skills and delegation to fostering confidence and respect within your team.

These ten top qualities of good managers are vital to creating a productive, engaging, and harmonious work environment. If you feel called to be a leader, CCU offers various in-depth programs that will prepare you for a career in leadership.

With a top-tier education and unwavering values, you can further your knowledge of how to be an effective leader in whatever career path you take.

Whether you're just starting your leadership journey or looking to enhance your skills, remember that becoming a great leader is a continuous learning process filled with opportunities for personal growth and professional development.

Colorado Christian University does not guarantee any job placement as a result of earning this or any other degrees offered by the university.

Learn more about CCU’s business and leadership degree programs.

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